We are back from our Southern vacation. My sister and I loved traveling through the Southern states! We had a great time with family in Charlotte, NC and soaking up the beauty of Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA. It was everything we'd hoped it would be: wonderful architecture, easy to get around, friendly people and great food, especially seafood. Let me share with you some of the highlights.
We started our trip in Charlotte, NC where we stayed with family for a few days.
This is my sweet Aunt Karen, cousin Karen Helen and husband Rick who live in Charlotte, NC. They were kind enough to host us at their beautiful home. Pictured is their fabulous vacation house on Lake Wiley. They rent it out by the week. It has every amenity you can think of including a swimming pool and boat dock and sleeps 20 (its already booked for this summer). If you want to know more about it, here's the link.
On our first morning in Charleston, my sister and I visited Middleton Place, the oldest rice plantation in the US. It was settled in 1705 and it remains a working farm today. You can tour the main house, stables, and gardens and see volunteers acting the part of blacksmiths, farm workers and stablehands. They have a pair of water buffalo (originally for plowing the rice fields), horses, goats, sheep, chickens and other animals in the stable yard. The gardens and plantation spread over 64 acres along the Ashley River. The butterfly lakes (decorative ponds) and waterways are beautiful to see, but watch out for alligators. We saw one floating in the river and decided against dipping our toes in the water!
By chance we learned that the Tall Ships were traveling to Charleston for the first time in 15 years. We had to see these amazing beauties for ourselves so we stopped by the harbor on our way out of town. These ships will be racing from Charleston to Bermuda and onto other destinations throughout the year.
Throughout the south we were amazed at how beautifully preserved everything was. History is found everywhere and treated with respect and pride. We loved Savannah, GA with its lovely walkable parks and historic architecture. Savannah is also a fun and eccentric city, one of the few cities in the US where you can carry your drink with you out in public. Don't be surprised if your waitress asks if you'd like to take your cocktail "to go".
Savannah highlights: The Telfair museum, historic homes, the Pirate Restaurant (the oldest building in GA, also serving tasty food), the "bird girl" statue at the Jepson Art Center, our last night dinner at Alligator Soul (try the alligator jambalaya), the riverfront, and the Klimpton Brice hotel's garden with blooming crepe myrtles.
We loved the South and would visit it again in a heartbeat. So until next time, we say "bye y'all"!